The end of an old year and the start of a new one is perfect for musohacks to fill up space in their dog-eared magazines and laggy websites. December sees retrospectives that tend to be useless insofar as it’s stuff you and they already know. Come the new year, come a new way to fleece your audience; the BBC’s Sound of <year> collection is heavily plagiarised as writer’s pokerface us and say “Hey, we knew about this lot all along!”
What seperates Sputnik Music from the other sites is the technology available to us. For reasons best left unknown, all staff now have access to a computer that pings emails from the future. One future staff member (name not revealed so as to prevent paradox) decided to reveal the big talking points on a year ahead for us, but one already forgotten for them:
Captain Beefheart returns from the grave! Not content with being dead, the man also known as Don Van Vliet found out the other side just wasn’t as cool as he thought it would be. His return was heralded as one of the most shocking of all time, and his move onto the lucrative after-dinner speech circuit propelled him right into the heart of public affairs. It wasn’t to last, however. After attempting to strangle Barack Obama at a $10,000 a head White House dinner, the Captain caught fire and quickly combusted in the Oval Office. His last words? “Ah feel like battery
In fighting for an open Internet (especially in the face of threats such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and so on), entrepreneurs such as Alexis Ohanian — who once upon a time co-founded reddit and created Breadpig in 2008, an organization he describes as “an uncorporation that deals in delightful geeky wares and helps people helping the world” — have decided to flex their proverbial muscle and do something about such injustices. Upon seeing Lester’s story, Ohanian asserts that individuals around the world have an incredible opportunity to help support artists in the digital realm.
The two men met in April 2012, with Lester participating in a reddit Ask Me Anything around this time to tell his story and shed light on the corruption and tyranny of the record industry as he understood it. Lester’s story served as a catalyst to get him back in the studio to record another album.
With Breadpig, profits are disseminated to individuals and corporations that “make the world less sucky”, and the “uncorporation” spends its time “discovering and promoting fascinating technology, hacks, and ideas from all over the world” that are inspirational and impressive. Lester is now writing a new record, entitled Lester’s Time Has Come in an effort to not only rekindle his faith and trust in others’ vested interest…
Suppose you were knocked unconscious on December 31st, 2011, knowing that this would be the last time you’d see Dick Clark ring in a New Year with you:
RIP, old friend.
… and you went through all of 2012 in a 320+ day Rip Van Winkle-like coma, missing out on all that 2012 would bring with pop music, for good and for ill:
But then you miraculously wake up just to spite the Mayans or something, and decide that you need an eight-minute crash-course on 2012 Pop Music (for whatever reason).
Vancouver-based artist Daniel Kim (Facebook) strives to create such mash-ups every year. The process is supremely labor-intensive, and he provides a brief, engaging overview of his process on his blog, The Gift of OCPD.
The mash-up is available below:
His alphabetical list of inclusions:
1. Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”
2. Adele – “Skyfall”
3. Alex Clare – “Too Close”
4. Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo – “Let’s Go”
5. Carly Rae Jepson – “Call Me Maybe”
6. Cher Lloyd – “Want U Back”
7. Chris Brown – “Don’t Wake Me Up”
8. Chris Brown – “Turn Up The Music”
9. Christina Aguilera – “Your Body”
10. David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne – “I Can Only Imagine”
11. David Guetta…
Sputnik Music is dedicated to bringing you the best new music. Part of our endeavor includes this very blog, our “Infinite Playlist” – a user-submitted database consisting of quarterly, up-to-date tracks from your favorite artists (and hopefully a few ones you’ve never heard of before). Below you will find a list of songs from the third quarter of 2012. Each song is (if possible) accompanied by a download link, access to the artist’s home page, and a review of his/her latest album.
Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist is, as the title suggests, an ongoing project. You can contribute to future publications of Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist by submitting a song title, artist name, release date, and 5-10 sentence blurb to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All prior sections of the Infinite Playlist can be found below:
If you have any additional questions, drop me a message in my shoutbox. Q4 submissions will range from October to December, so feel free to send something in at your leisure. Not a user? No problem. You can register with the site here.
And as always, I would like to take a moment to recognize this issue’s contributors for their time and effort. Please give a round of applause for this quarter’s writers:
Amia Venera Landscape’s 2010 release, The Long Procession, was one of the surprise releases of that year. It probably could have even been near the top of our year-end lists if not for its mid-December release date. Its mixture of post metal, post hardcore, math metal, and ambience was expertly done (with some room for improvement, of course) and still generates discussion nearly two years later. The song that hit most people the hardest was the opening track, ‘Empire’, and this is the video for that song. Prepare to have your face melted… or something
NOTE: In other news, the band has just announced through their Facebook page that they’re going to be releasing more music this winter:
Hi everyone, after several months of almost silence, it’s time to see where we stand!
During this period we’ve been working on a lot of brand new music. The composition process took different directions, in terms of sounds and respective approaches, and it led us to create something around eighty songs of very different genres.
All this material will be recorded along the next three years, and the first of these releases is supposed to be out this Winter. According to this we won’t be going to play any live show for a while.
In the meanwhile, check out our previously unreleased video for the song ‘Empire’, taken from our first album ‘The Long Procession’.
Ten quick things about Friday’s The Gaslight Anthem gig at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan (if you clicked this just to see the setlist, feel free to skip to the bottom):
1. This was a Gaslight-only gig. The Detroit date was added after the tour kicked off, which saved me a trip to Grand Rapids (they will be playing there on Monday, future dates can be accessed [here]). Initially, it was a bummer that neither supporting act was present, but singer/guitarist Brian Fallon announced that Hot Water Music were playing a gig a few blocks away and that we could get half-off tickets into that venue if we furnished our Gaslight ticket at the door. Plus, as you’ll read later, the Detroit gig was, without question, a one-of-a-kind show, so I wasn’t too devastated that it was just them.
2. Since Handwritten’s release, especially when the band were hitting their TV gigs, I’ve read a lot of mostly-negative opinions about Ian Perkins playing live with the band. Questions like “Is that third guitar REALLY necessary?” and his uncredited addition to the band being deemed “excessive” and “superfluous” could be construed as plausible, but after seeing the band play as a quintet, I was thoroughly impressed by Perkins’ stage presence. Rocking his trademark black flat cap on his scruffy, chiseled-out-of-granite dome, Perkins appeared comfortable and confident, and even allowed himself to express some nervous laughter when Fallon poked fun at his Horrible Crowes counterpart and put the…
No matter how much you love music, there is quite simply too much out there to keep track of. Even in your genre of choice, it is possible to overlook an impressive release, which can be frustrating when you find it year(s) later only to regret every single day that you weren’t already listening to it. For me, the most recent discovery of this sort was Laminate Pet Animal, a 2011 psychedelic/indie release that took me almost a full year to stumble upon.
Laminate Pet Animal is a brilliant effort from Snowmine, a band hailing from Brooklyn that is too little-known considering the heights they effortlessly ascend to. Their stellar blend of pop-accessible vocals (think James Mercer of The Shins) and challenging-yet-melodic atmospheres beckons casual listens as well as late night headphone sessions. Their sound works as one cohesive wave of beauty, flowing over your ears and engulfing them in one gorgeous instrumental arrangement after another.
Laminate Pet Animal is consistently jaw-dropping, so attempting to pick a standout track is like trying to pick out a date from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Nevertheless, one that exemplifies the album’s true nature, as well as what Snowmine is capable of, comes via “Let Me In”, a song driven by downright stunning vocals and a spacey atmosphere. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Snowmine’s bandcamp page for a name-your-own-price download of the album (It may be free, but it’s worth dropping a few bucks on to support the…
It would be easy to sit here and spout off a few facts about Anthony Sly in honor of his passing, but after all is said and done that would be useless. For what he left us in his 41 years deserves more than just the script notes of a life lived. His heart and emotion resonated with thousands in a way that was more akin to a family member even though we never truly knew him or even met him outside chance run ins or through quick conversations at shows. Tony Sly took the adolescent soul of pop punk and channeled it through a lens of understanding clarity well beyond his years. It was a gift. He sharpened and refined this skill further when he embarked on a solo career that offered a more fitting medium to work with given his ever maturing, but still so youthfully rooted, outlook.
In a time when musician’s obituaries are running like a constant news ticker through the internet, I, like most people, am slightly disconnected from the news when it breaks. It’s saddening but only for a moment, until some new stimuli pops up on my screen calling away the focus of my attention deprived brain, but when I read a single 140 word millisecond long tweet about the passing of Tony Sly it made me stop what I was doing in a stunned silence. It felt like I had lost a family member even though I had only met the man…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 31, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
The Alchemist – Russian Roulette (Decon Inc.)
Anchor And Braille – The Quiet Life (Tooth & Nail)
ASC and Sam KDC – Cold Spot/Kaleidoscope (Auxiliary)
Audio – Fall Back/Rust (Renegade Hardware)
The Black Swans – Occasion For Song (Misra Records)
A Bullet For Pretty Boy – Red Medic (Red Int/Red Ink)
Blur – Blur 21: The Box (Virgin Records)
Close To Home – Momentum (Razor & Tie)
Cold Blank – The Agenda (Burn The Fire Records)
D.O.A. – We Come In Peace (Sudden Death)
Darqwan – To The Fly (Texture Records)
Domo Genesis – No Idols (Odd Future Recordings)
Everyone Dies In Utah – +//- (Polarities) (Tragic Hero Records)
Evoken – Atra Mors (Profound Lore)
Erik Gundel – A Home To Keep You (Mecca Lecca Recording Co.)
Gaelic Storm – Chicken Boxer (Lost Again Records)
Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering [Digital] (Black Market Activities)
Gloriana – A Thousand Miles Left Behind (Emblem)
Ice Choir – Afar (Underwater Peoples)
Jackyl – Best In Show (Mighty Loud)
Jesse Harris – Sub Rosa (Dangerbird)
Joshua Radin – Underwater (Mom & Pop Music)
Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 (S-Curve Records)
Junk Culture – Wild Quiet (Illegal Art)
Korpiklaani – Manala (Nuclear Blast International)
L.P. – Into The Wild (Warner Bros.)
La Coka Nostra – Masters Of The Dark…
Sputnikmusic is currently holding a Linkin Park contest. One lucky winner will receive a CD copy of LIVING THINGS signed by the band, a pair of Rob Bourdon signature Vater drumsticks, a Linkin Park t-shirt and band stickers & buttons! Also included is a one year membership to the official Linkin Park fan club: LP Underground. Members receive early entrance to Linkin Park shows, chances for Meet & Greets, access to concert pre-sale tickets and best seats, exclusive music, live video chats with band members and much more. So, go here for more details.
We are also still accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a Contributing Reviewer for this site. To submit your applications (and to read the submission guidelines), head here.
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 26, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
16Volt – LetDownCrush [Reissue] (Metropolis Records)
As The Sky Awaits – Rebirth
Beachwood Sparks – The Tarnished Gold (Sub Pop)
Blues Traveler – Suzie Cracks The Whip (429 Records)
Bondo do Role – Tropicalbacanal (Mad Decent)
Bright Light Bright Light – Make Me Believe In Hope (Self Raising Records)
Casey Abrams – Casey Abrams (Concord Music)
Cesium_137 – Science and Sound (Metropolis Records)
Chris Cagle – Back In The Saddle (Bigger Picture Group)
The Cinematic Orchestra – In Motion # 1 (Ninja Tune)
The Daredevil Christopher Wright – The Nature of Things (FILE UNDER MUSIC)
I first attended The Fest in 2011, and I’ve since wondered about what that weekend means, if anything. It is billed, rightfully so, as the largest punk festival in the country, but there were only a marginal number of big names and they all, for the most part, had the shortened timeslots that plague such events (one has to wonder why Warped Tour still draws a crowd year after year, offering outdoor stages, mediocre sound quality, the blazing temperatures of summer, and 20 minute sets). Granted, bands like Magrudergrind and Comadre are well-served by short sets, and an hour certainly seems enough for your Hot Water Musics and Against Me!s.
Much of The Fest’s appeal seems to lie in the possibility of what might happen rather than what is actually scheduled to. “Secret shows” always produce heavy rumors passed around with all the fervor of notes in school. One hears that Comadre is playing an At the Drive-In cover show in a warehouse 30 minutes outside of town (didn’t happen), and that Alternative Press is hosting their own mini-festival of bands playing cover shows, such as Bomb the Music Industry! covering The Weakerthans (happened). Not everyone is in the mood to be excited about these things at two in the morning after a long and sweaty night of shows. But there are people with boundless zeal who are constantly energetic to see something they may never get to see again. It is, even in a state of exhaustion, a little…
Are you Canadian? Do you like Death Grips or just enjoy free stuff? Well, here is your chance to win the most recent CD by hip-hop artist Death Grips. We have a copy of The Money Store to give away to one lucky Canadian fan. The only thing that you need to do is use the words ‘Death’ and ‘Grips’ in a sentence (paragraph or story if you’re feeling overzealous). Make it witty, funny or sarcastic — the end goal is to be amusing. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and will end on May 29th.
E-mail your submissions here (make sure the subject is “Death Grips Contest”):
In anticipation of Keane’s fourth studio album Strangeland (to be released this Tuesday, May 8th), Sputnik will be hosting a prize pack giveaway. The contest is based upon the music video to their latest single, “Disconnected”, which was filmed by directors Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez inside a haunted house in Barcelona while following a distinct 70’s horror aesthetic. The contestant who submits the best movie slogan/tagline in 15 words or less (i.e. Jaws‘ “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”) will receive the following:
-Strangeland 12” vinyl record
The winner will be chosen based on originality, cleverness, and/or humor, as well overall quality of the slogan. All answers should be sent via email to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 13th.
The music video can be viewed below. Good luck to all of the contestants involved!